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Washington 20, Virginia 13, Us 12, Danella 11, Maryland 9, Eun 6, Marc 5, Los Angeles 5, George 5, Murray 4, Brown 4, Baltimore 4, Florida 4, D.c. 4, Nasa 4, Joe 3, Bethesda 3, Alexandria 3, Calgary 3, U.s. 3,
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  NBC    News 4 Today at 5    News  News/Business. New.  

    July 8, 2011
    5:00 - 6:00am EDT  

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feel like it's a little sticky out there. >> quite. i would say. >> quite sticky out there? >> beyond little. still steamy. >> trying to be optimistic. >> i know, i know. we'll be optimistic about the weekend, though. between now and then, it is going to stay very steamy. we have the potential for flooding from heavy downpours. we had that happen last night just north of baltimore. they had to do swift water rescues from heavy downpours there. now they're gone. and thankfully, we're off to a settled start. we've got a partly to mostly cloudy sky, but it is still very humid. we're in the low to mid-70s throughout most of the region. ronald reagan national is in the upper 70s as well as right near the bay. those are the water temperatures. so any wind off the water is certainly going to be mild here predawn. and elsewhere, shenandoah valley, farther to the west, we're in the 60s most locations. and here's the sky over the last 12 hours. you can see we've had the heavy downpours dissipate after they moved out of maryland into pennsylvania. there are some heavier downpours
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now developing. southern ohio into kentucky. that is heading our way. looks like we'll be in here by midday and during the afternoon. there is the jefferson memorial now under a calm sky. we have a lot of moisture waiting to unload on us. and it looks like that's going to happen here by later this afternoon and during the evening hours there is the potential for creeks and streams to come out of their banks and flood roadways. that would be from midday all the way into tonight. a look at the night planner at 5:11. danella, good morning. how's traffic? traffic is looking great. i love it when friday starts off wonderful of the the weekend's here. so far, it's a good commute for you. i want to show you local roads now. this is georgia avenue and spring. i'm checking the local roads in prince george's county as well as here in montgomery county. so far i have no delays to report for you. as we go down to d.c. this is penn and 14th street. d.c., good morning. your roadways are great. new york avenue has already reopened, and you are having a great commute so far. as we head down to 66, i can
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tell you 66, both inside and outside of the beltway in both directions, your lanes are open, and you're making good time. joe and eun, back to you. >> thank you, danella. an update on breaking news right now. a carjacking that shut down several roadways in northeast washington overnight. right now the streets are open again. the carjacking occurred in anne arundel county. police were looking for two suspects. we're told that they have one of the suspects in custody. a man is dead after he was hit by a car while changing a tire on the beltway. the accident stopped traffic on 495 in the beltsville area for nearly an hour yesterday. police say the man was struck just below the flyover ramp for i-95. that caused a chain reaction crash. all together, five people were taken to the hospital. two of them were children. police aren't releasing any of their conditions at this point. drivers in prince george's county are going to have a tougher time speeding. which one would suppose is the point after all. county officials want to put mobile speed cameras at more
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than 100 sites at county schools. that's according to the "washington examiner." the fine for driving more than 12 miles an hour over the speed limit in school zones is $40. officials estimate it will generate about $7.5 million. authorities in virginia raided a tobacco store after discovering it's still selling an illegal product. authorities raided arabica tobacco and seized 200 packets of k2 spice. no one was arrested during the raid, and the company's owners are cooperating with police during the investigation. the drug enforcement administration says k2 is a potential health risk, increasing the use of seizure ins people who use the drug. six agencies, including the secret service, worked together to arrest a man accused of setting fires in the district. maurice dews was arrested earlier this week for allegedly starting several fires in the past few months. one of the fires injured five
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firefighters last april. after dews started the fire, he called it in as an emergency. he then stayed on the scene and took pictures of the blaze. authorities say it's likely more charges are on the way. and the new report on alexandria's power plant shows potentially dangerous emissions are affecting air quality in the district. research by the sierra club found emissions from the potomac river generating station are blowing into ward 8. sulfur dioxide exposure has been linked to respiratory problems, including asthma. d.c. mayor vincent gray will do what is right for the health of d.c. citizens. the alexandria plant powers d.c. and other local areas. this morning d.c. council chairman kwame brown is facing more campaign finance trouble. the city's board of elections is asking federal authorities to investigate possible criminal violations by brown's 2008 re-election committee. they want to know what happened to $350,000 that was raised or spent. brown declined to speak to news
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4 and said in a statement he welcomes the probe to clear his name. right now crews are fueling space shuttle "atlantis" for liftoff. thunderstorms could delay the shuttle's final mission. this is a live look from the kennedy space center. the shuttle is set to launch at 11:26 this morning. "atlantis" and four astronauts will carry ae load of supplies to the international space station. today's mission will end nasa's 30-year-old space program. this is a live look from -- and you can see lightning was caught in these photos by nasa at the space center overnight. the still very heavy clouds over the launch site down there in florida, cape canaveral, and they're saying there's only about a 70% -- there's about a 70% chance that it will not launch today because the weather is so bad.
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we will, of course, be following the story through the morning, and we'll be watching the weather there as well. and you can watch the coverage, if there is a launch, on news 4 midday at about 11:25. let's go to tom and take a look at the forecast around here. tom? here in florida, we'll take a look at the forecast for the shuttle launch site. that's where the star is located right there at cape canaveral. right now no rain at the launch site. the launch is scheduled for 11:26 this morning. and they might just get lucky. in fact, the very latest models are now looking at a little better chance they'll launch. still a 60% chance of storms. they have about a 30% to 40% chance they will get a launch off. right now there are showers here over the atlantic as well as here on the west coast of florida. looks like those are going to be passing west of the launch site this morning. so they actually may split the difference here with a little bit of a dry slot perhaps right over cape canaveral. there's one little shower to
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their west right now. that's not going to be affecting anything. no thunder and lightning associated with that. a decent chance they'll get the launch off. however, the greater chance is they will not be able to launch today. it all depends on what's going to happen right around that launch window time around 11:26 this morning. joe? >> thanks very much, tom. if there is a launch, you can watch it on "news 4 midday" and check out nbcwashington.com. it will likely be up to maryland voters to decide whether the children of some illegal immigrants can pay instate tuition for college. opponents of the d.r.e.a.m. act have enough signatures to force a referendum on the law. that referendum will probably end up on next november's ballot. the "washington times" is reporting the d.r.e.a.m. act will be suspended until then. it was passed this spring and allows the children of illegal immigrants to pay instate tuition if their parents can prove they pay state taxes. this morning we can get a good look at how the economy is faring.
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economists are counting on june being a much better month than may when the economy added 54,000 jobs. some experts believe more than twice that many jobs are created in june. even with those gains, forecasters expect the unemployment rate to hold steady at 9.1%. lawmakers will work through the weekend to try to hammer out a debt reduction solution. president obama called the latest round of talks "frank and constructive" but said there has been no breakthrough. he said both sides are still far apart, but everyone agreed there will be political pain on both sides by the time an agreement is reached. lawmakers have until august 2nd to keep the government from defaulting on loans. the president said he will reconvene with lawmakers on sunday. it's now 5:08. 74 degrees out there. coming up, elizabeth smart's new job. how she's using her life to raise awareness about missing
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5:11 on this friday morning. good morning. i'm meteorologist tom kierein. it's a warm and muggy start to this friday. we have a partly to mostly cloudy sky. 79 at reagan national. low to mid-70s throughout much of the region. 60s out of the mountains, shenandoah valley. over the last 12 hours, we have heavy downpours passing west and north of washington. those are dissipating. we have the possibility, in fact a likelihood of heavy downpours
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moving in here by midday and during the afternoon. highs reaching the mid-80s. some of the occasional heavy downpours with thunder and lightning could produce enough heavy rain in a short amount of time to cause flooding. that flooding risk is existing all the way tonight through very early saturday morning. a look at saturday, sunday, and into next week in ten minutes. danella, how's traffic? the rails are open. so far no delays on the metro, marc, and or vre. roadways are looking good. this is 270 and father hurley. 270 north and south, i see some traffic coming south, but no delays at this time. here's 95 at the occoquan. 95 north. there are some volume in that area, but so far you're good as well. as we check out d.c. d.c., this is connecticut avenue and calvert street. your local roadways are looking excellent. i'll be back in ten minutes with another update. >> danella, thank you very much. still
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a woman charged with killing her coworker in bethesda in montgomery county will be in court today. brittany norwood is accused of killing jana murphy at the lululemon store back in march. police say she killed murray after a fight after murray found suspected stolen items in norwood's handbag. norwood then tried to hide the murder by tying herself up and blaming at tack on two masked men. the store reopened last month. later this month, a potomac man jailed in cuba will appeal his conviction in the highest court. 62-year-old allen gross is
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serving ten years for crimes against the cuban state. he was accuse ds of taking part in a secretive program to promote political change on the island. gross says he was on the island to promote internet communications for cuba's jewish community. the d.c. council is considering a proposal that would license the district to distribute guns. that's according to the "washington examiner." under the plan, gun owners who want to bring guns into d.c. would have to have their guns shipped to government offices and get a stamp of approval to carry them within the district limits. right now there are no gun sellers in the district. the district council is reviewing the proposal next week. it is now legal to pack heat in virginia state forests. the new regulation took effect this week. according to that law, it is now legal to carry guns openly into state forests. you may also carry a concealed weapon as long as you have a concealed handgun permit. this morning a tragic reminder of just how important it is to be careful while going for a baseball at a baseball game. a fan in texas has died after
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falling out of the stands while trying to catch a ball. we have video of the incident, but we want to warn you, you may well find it very disturbing. the fan tried to catch a ball that was tossed to him by texas rangers outfielders josh hamilton. he fell, though, head first over the railing. he fell about 20 feet, landed on his head behind a 14-foot high wall supporting a video board. it was concrete there at the bottom. paramedics rushed him to the hospital where he died. the rangers are not giving many details about the injuries that led to his death. casey anthony will walk out of jail a free woman in ten days. a judge sentenced her to four years in prison for lying about her daughter's disappearance. she will be released next sunday, july 17th. she was given credit for time served and good behavior. but the court is not done with her yet. anthony could also be charged with the cost of searching for her daughter and trying her case. in the wake of the casey anthony trial, maryland senator nancy jacobs wants to make it a felony for a parent not to
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report the death of a child. that's according to the baltimore sun. lawmakers in florida, new york, oklahoma, and west virginia have announced they're drafting bills that would force parents to report missing children in the first 24 hours. it will be called caylee's law. the prosecution in the anthony trial said their case was damaged by the fact that caylee's body was found so late. the child was reported missing a full month after her family last saw her. abc news has now hired elizabeth smart to be an expert commentator on missing persons and child abduction cases. smart was kidnapped from her home in salt lake city, utah, when he was just 14 years old. she was held captive for nine months. she's now 23 years old. she's expected to start the new job within a few weeks. one of the united kingdom's oldest newspapers is shutting its doors amid new accusations it illegally hacked thousands of cell phone messages. the tabloid news of the world is accused of breaking into the voicemails of the royal family, celebrities, and families of
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soldiers killed in iraq and afghanistan. police are investigating the list of possibly 4,000 victims. the tabloid's last edition will go out on sunday. it seems like kids just got out of school, but that hasn't stopped retailers from thinking about september already. some are jumping the gun to get shoppers' attention extra early. last year consumers spent more than $55 billion on back to school items. some toys r us stores started a pack to school sale on backpacks and lunch boxes on july 1st. not to be left behind, walgreens, walmart, staples, office depot, and target all have either started or are about to start their back to school sales. it's just not right, joe. it's too early. i want to enjoy my summer. >> we have july 4th. labor day can't be far behind. >> then halloween and christmas. >> midterms, finals, halloween, christmas. >> be complaining about cold weather again. >> happy new year.
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>> let's check in with tom. >> i just got a new lunch pail with transformers on it. there is the washington monument under a hazy summer sky. live picture from the city camera. we've got the humidity still with us. it's going to be with us throughout the day. so much moisture in the air, it's just waiting to turn into some heavy downpours. it looks like there is that likelihood later today into the afternoon. no problems weather-wise, but it is a steamy muggy morning. upper 70s in washington right by the bay. by 9:00, we should be around 80, maybe a little sun in and out. and then cloudy by noontime. by then, we could have some heavy downpours developing. during the afternoon especially, heavy downpours with thunder and lightning likely. and some of those isolated storms could produce enough rain to cause creeks and streams to flow over roadways. don't ever drive through high water. in fact, last night we had more swift water rescues north of baltimore from heavy downpours. we could have some of those flooding rains again tonight
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with thunder and lightning all the way through much of the night. by dawn tomorrow, we'll be down into the low 70s. better news for the weekend. a little bit less humid saturday and sunday with sunshine back with highs around 90. getting more humid again monday, tuesday next week. maybe some storms tuesday, but another shot of dry air moves in wednesday, thursday, more comfortable with highs in the 80s. danella, how's traffic? >> good morning. starting out in prince george's county, i'm checking your local roadways. so far i have no incidents to report for you. want to show you montgomery county right now. this is muncaster mill and avery road. this is 14th and independence avenue. d.c., your streets are looking good. i don't have any accidents to report for you. 66 east, you see the headlights coming towards us. that's 66 east. a little congestion there but nothing significant, and you are still traveling at a good speed. i want to give you another look at the rails so far. metro, marc, and vre are all running on or close to schedule. i'll be back in ten minutes with
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another update. joe and eun. >> danella, thanks. 5:22 now. a traffic alert. if you are driving through southeast washington. right now branch avenue is cl e closed at pennsylvania avenue so crews can rebuild the road. the closure went into effect after yesterday morning's rush. everything should be open again in time for monday morning's commute. pennsylvania avenue remains open. ddot says it will reopen branch avenue before monday morning if crews can complete their work earlier than expected. an alert of a different kind after a brief relief, it appears. gas prices are creeping back up toward $4 again. the national average is $3.59 a gallon. d.c. is way above that at $3.82. virginia is the lowest of the area at $3.46. maryland is sitting at $3.57. and west virginia is $3.62. megan mcgrath is live in crystal city now with more. megan, good morning to you. what's causing the spike this time? >> reporter: there are a couple different factors. it's certainly been like a yo-yyo-y
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yo-yo. the prices go up, they come down, go up, come down again. crude prices are on the rise. they look like they're heading toward the $100 a barrel mark. the crude is rising despite the fact the u.s. and other countries agreed to release millions of barrels of crude from their emergency reserves. the u.s. has agreed to release 30 million barrels. that sounds like a lot, but really, if you think about it, 30 million barrels is less than two days' worth of the domestic consumption in this country. it really is just a drop in the bucket. why are prices going up? there are a couple of different reasons. summertime, of course historically we see a demand increase, and that, of course, rises the prices. and also, the economies around the world are showing signs of improvement, which, of course, is good news, but one of the effects that happens here is that the demand for gasoline goes up as people are doing better, feeling a little more optimistic. they begin to spend more, and the demand for gasoline goes up. that raises concerns about supply, and all of that, unfortunately, causes the prices to increase.
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so looks like we're starting to go up again. but the way it's been going here for the last several months, it's just an up and down, up and down kind of situation. we're going to just have to keep an eye on it. a lot of people headed out on vacation driving around. not a great time for it. eun, back to you. >> not at all. megan mcgrath live in crystal city for us this morning. megan, thank you. metro riders can add money to their smart card from their own computer. it allows users to add money using a credit card. about 5,000 riders were randomly selected for the program. it will last about four weeks, but metro does plan to replace the smart trip technology at some point. safety improvements will cause delays this weekend on the red, blue, and yellow lines. no stations will be closed, but several will share one track, which will add about 20 minutes to your travel time. it's part of a $5 billion program that will replace track circuits and equipment. the track work starts at 9:30 tonight, and things will be back to normal for your monday morning commute.
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the washington nationals are still a relatively young team, and as part of the road to success, you're going to have some growing pains. it looks like last night was one of those times. washington was up 8-0 against the cubs, but chicago came storming back. in the seventh inning, the cubbies tied it at 8. it is the largest blown lead in nats history. bottom of the eighth, nationals trailing by one. michael morse ties the game at 9. in the top of the ninth, the cubs store one more and this time keep the lead. nationals lose a heartbreaker 10-9. what a bummer. let's talk about bad manners. number one women's tennis player caroline wozniacki was about to serve match point when a cell phone started ringing. she was about to serve, but it just kept going. turns out it belonged to her
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opponent. how bad is that? in the middle of wimbledon. how bad was that? it only delayed the inevitable. wozniacki won the next point and then the match. >> talk about bad form. >> it's just embarrassing. can you imagine? everybody's looking around, and you're the one that goes over to the bag. >> exactly. >> ouch. our time is 5:27. coming
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how do i deal with joint pain?. [ male announcer ] introducing icy hot naturals with natural menthol. it's gets icy to dull pain, hot to relax it away fast. new icy hot naturals. history in the making. the shuttle "atlantis" is on the launch pad, but it's yet to be seen whether it will liftoff today. and the royal couple arrives in los angeles today. >> look at those hats. >> is that the requirement to come to the states, a cowboy hat and jeans?
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>> good morning. i'm joe krebs, along with -- >> eun yang. did i say i'm eun yang already? >> no. nobody knows who you are. >> all right. it's 5:30 a.m. look at the pretty sky out there, pink and blue, tom. >> we have some sunrise. beautiful sky with some sun likely on the way. later this morning, those clouds should close in and produce maybe heavy downpours by later this afternoon and tonight, which may cause some flooding. right now all is tranquil, except it's a steamy morning, very humid. no travel problems, though, weatherwise. don't have any fog around this morning either like we did yesterday. right now in the low 70s in the suburbs and rural areas. it's in the mid and upper 70s in washington and right by the bay. weather watchers reporting a partly cloudy to mostly clear sky across parts of virginia. however, still much of maryland and west virginia is still quite cloudy. in fact, the clouds are producing some heavy downpours now in ohio and kentucky. yes, that's advancing our way and looks to be arriving here by later today.
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the sunrise in about 20 minutes, and by 9:00, maybe a little sunshine in and out still. around 80 and clouds closing in. and then noontime and through the afternoon expect some heavy downpours with thunder and lightning, maybe some flooding. a look at the night planner in ten minutes. danella, how's traffic? let's start out with the rails. so far metro, marc, and vre running on or close to schedule. and a live look at our roadways. this is the beltway at colesville road in maryland, you're looking good inner and outer loop there. i am seeing a little volume, nothing significant. you're still traveling at a great speed as we head down to virginia. this is the beltway at braddock road. beltway in both directions in virginia, you're driving smooth as well. and i want to show you this local road in d.c. this is eighth street at second street. d.c., i'm checking the roadways for you as well. so far, no incidents to report. eun, back to you. >> danella, thank you. the duke and duchess of cambridge will head to the
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united states after nine busy days in canada. they made a big impression during their visit, raising expectations for their first visit to california. tracie potts is live in los angeles. pretty exciting out there, tracie, good morning. >> reporter: it is exciting. they arrive this afternoon. we're live at the beverly hilton. this will be their first stop. they're attending a reception here. boy, did we see interesting pictures of them yesterday from canada. take a look. the prince and princess wearing cowboy hats, white cowboy hats, very traditional in calgary for visitors there. and complete cowboy attire. they're actually going to be kicking off the calgary stampede this morning before heading south down here to los angeles. we also saw them doing some charity visits. they visited a hospital there. they'll be doing some similar type charity visits here. they're visiting an inner city children's arts program. we saw some of the kids preparing for that yesterday. very excited to meet a real prince and princess, which a lot of people here in hollywood have
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never had the chance to do. now, practically, people are a little concerned about the traffic. it is l.a. they're used to traffic. perhaps some extra traffic tie-ups as a result of prince william and his bride making their way through the city. all in all, people very excited about this visit. eun, i heard someone describe it as this will be a postcard moment for los angeles. >> it certainly will be. all right. tracie potts live in los angeles for this us this morning. tracie, thank you. while in calgary, the duchess of cambridge made a little girl's royal dreams come true. 6-year-old cancer patient diamond marshall wrote a letter to the children's wish foundation expressing her desire to meet the princess and give her flowers. she got a little more than that. kate greeted the little girl with two big hugs, which reportedly made diamond's day. very sweet. today we should get a pretty good indication of how the economy is faring. the labor department is set to release its jobs report for june
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later this morning. economists are counting on june being a much better month than may when the economy added just 54,000 jobs. most experts believe twice that many jobs were created last month. even with those gains, most forecasters expect the unemployment rate to hold steady at 9.1%. president obama called the latest round of deficit reduction talks, "frank and constructive" but said there has been no breakthrough. both sides are still far apart, but everyone agreed there will be political pain on both sides by the time an agreement is reached. law makers have until august 2nd to keep the government from defaulting on loans. congressional leaders and staffers will work over the weekend and reconvene with lawmakers on sunday. a horrific scene in grand rapids, michigan, as seven people are dead from one man's shooting spree. roderick danler shot four people in one home and killed three others on the other side of town. he then took three hostages inside an apartment, holding
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them for hours. dansler released one hostage before turning the gun on himself. authorities don't know the motives for the shootings but say he was recently released from prison. six agencies around the country, including the secret service, worked together to arrest a man suspected of setting fires in the district. maurice dews was arrested earlier this week for allegedly starting several fires over the past few months. one of the fires injured five firefighters back in april. according to court documents, after dews started the fire, he called it in as an emergency and then stayed on the scene and took pictures of the blaze and other blazes. authorities say it is likely that more charges are on the way. a new report on alexandria's power plant shows potentially dangerous emissions are affecting air quality in the district. research by the sierra club found emissions from the potomac river generating station are blowing into ward 8. sulfur dioxide exposure has been linked to respiratory problems,
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including asthma. d.c. manager vincent gray says he hopes managers will do what's right for d.c. residents. the plant powers d.c. and other local areas. 5:36 is the time. a political conspiracy or just bad timing. water works interrupt a local politician and soak her
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5:39. 74 degrees out there. a little touch of sun with the sky blue and pink. another hot and steamy day in store for us for sure. >> it feels almost like the middle of july. let's go to tom kierein in stormcenter 4. >> wonder why that is, tom. >> my goodness, there it is. >> in washington too no less. this morning the humidity is with us. temperatures under a partly cloudy sky near 80 degrees in washington and by the bay. elsewhere, low to mid-70s. partly cloudy sky throughout much of the region. that's a live picture over the potomac river. by noontime, clouding up. we could have heavy downpours moving through the region, maybe with thunder and lightning as well as especially mid to late afternoon. we'll peak in the mid-80s. not as hot as it's been the last couple of days. certainly with heavy downpours, there is the risk of flooding, possible flooding not only this afternoon into early evening,
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but all the way through much of tonight. we have this potential for some very heavy rain from time to time that may cause creeks and streams to flow over roadways and certainly don't ever attempt to drive through high water, especially at night, it's very difficult to see. danella, how's traffic? let's start out in virginia. virginia, i am seeing some volume build. this is 95 at lorton. i'm seeing some volume as you make your way from the occoquan and head north towards lorton. so far, no significant delays. that's good. look at the 66 building up. 66 east at sudley road, your lanes are packed. you're still traveling at a good speed as we head up to 270 in maryland. this is at 109. i am seeing congestion build out of urbana as you head towards clarksburg the south. so far, no major delays. again, metro, marc, and vre are running on or close to schedule. eun and joe, back to you. >> danella, thank you.
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5:41 is the time. ahead, the new feature riders will
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good morning. welcome back. at 5:45 the final countdown is under way for the space shuttle "atlantis" in nasa's 30-year-old space program. this is live at the kennedy center with workers conferring with each other. weather could delay the historic launch. nbc's jay gray is down at kennedy space center with more on this. jay, good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you, joe. everybody getting ready here and going through the final preparations. the only one, it seems, is not cooperating at this point is mother nature. talking with nasa weather forecasters, the forecast is
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still a no go for the 11:25 laurchl here at kennedy space center. as they work through the final preparations, the crew of "atlantis" was woken early this morning, 4:30 this morning, and now they are going through the process of getting ready and getting geared up here. and they'll continue this countdown for as long as they can until they understand that the weather just is not going to cooperate here, and then they will move into other plans. they have windows saturday, sunday, and even push to go a monday window. almost 1 million people have flooded the space coast hoping to get a final glimpse of history here. that will play into when the shuttle does lift off. there's a concern, if they get late into the countdown as we look live back at pad 39-a right now. if they get late into the countdown here, it will be tough to get through all the traffic and congestion here through the teams that are working. and then to get back to the space center in time for a saturday launch. likely what will happen is a
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48-hour hold. the conditions get much better weatherwise on sunday and even better on monday. again, they're targeting sunday or monday if it does not happen this morning. everyone with their fingers crossed, their rabbits' feet in their pockets waiting and wondering to see a break in the clouds if we see "atlantis" go for the last time. >> a couple of quick questions. first of all, are the astronauts on board in place right now. secondly, are those folks who are waiting, all of those people in tents who are going to stay put for whenever this thing goes off, do you think? >> first with the astronauts, no. they are going through their preparations right now. actually, they will be getting suited up here in the next hour. as for the spectators, a lot of them camped out overnight, and they will stay, many in rvs, as you might imagine, others in tents. a lot of them, though, are kind of watching the weather forecast to see exactly what happens. maybe waiting a little bit longer in the morning than they traditionally would to get to a perfect spot for viewing. most come with the realization
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that, hey, this is a shuttle launch, and it may not go on the first day, and they do make plans to stay for as long as they possibly can, especially on this launch, joe, because it is such an historic occasion here. >> i would think, once you get there, you don't want to leave. >> exactly. >> thanks so much. >> you bet. 10,000 workers at the goddard space flight center in greenbelt will watch the historic launch. when and if it does occur, it will be a bitter sweet day for many at this facility. goddard has provided most of the technology, engineering, and communications work over the last 30 years of the shuttle missions. the loss of the shuttle program will mean the loss of thousands of jobs around the country, but many at the goddard facility are expected to be retained. and be sure to watch "news 4 midday" for coverage on the final launch of the shuttle and check out nbcwashington.com, of course, for the very latest. in the day ahead, in montgomery county are the woman charged with killing her coworker in bethesda will be in court. brittany norwood is accused of
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killing jana murphy at the lululemon store in march. police say she killed murray after a fight after murray found suspected stolen items in norwood's bag. norwood tried to hide the murder by tying herself up and blaming the attack on two masked men. the store reopened last month. two cold cases closed. a prince george's county man is in custody this morning charged with two murders that took place more than a decade ago. police arrested cedric shuler of ft. washington yesterday to say he killed 26-year-old renee best of northwest washington in february of 1998 and 29-year-old edward gray of northwest washington a year later. both victims were shot to death. police are not saying how they finally connected him to those murders. more legal trouble for d.c. council chairman kwame brown. the d.c. board of elections is asking federal authorities to investigate possible criminal violations by brown's 2008 re-election committee. they want to know what happened to $350,000 that was raised or spent. brown declined to speak to news 4 but said in a statement he
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welcomes the probe to clear his name. maryland's d.r.e.a.m. act is apparently on hold, at least for now. the opponents have enough signatures to force a referendum on the law. the referendum will likely end up on next year's ballot. the d.r.e.a.m. act is on hold until then. the controversial law was passed in the spring that allows the children of illegal immigrants to pay instate college tuition if their parents can prove they do pay state taxes. tomorrow the dalai lama will host a prayer service right near the u.s. capitol. it happens on the west lawn beginning at 9:30 tomorrow morning. the event is free to the public with access to the lawn starting at 7:00. it is part of his 11-day visit to our nation's capital, which coincides with his 76th birthday. just about 5:51 now. time again for a look at weather and traffic together. here's tom. >> humidity still with us. another steamy morning. good morning. starting off this friday morning, don't have travel
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problems weatherwise. don't have the fog like we did yesterday morning. the radar scanning the sky. no precipitation anywhere near washington. over the last half hour, we've had heavy downpours develop just to the east of richmond. these are producing thunder and lightning and producing torrential rain now. these are flooding type storms. these are passing off to the north and east. we'll be moving right into the northern neck, maybe even clipping southern st. mary's county in a half hour to 45 minutes. these are drifting slowly. they're unloading a lot of rain. as a result, there is a threat of flooding for the northern neck and up towards southern st. mary's county, perhaps the lower part of the eastern shore. that will be a little bit later maybe in another hour or so. farther to the north and west, just a few clouds around. no precipitation now. we have temperatures near 80 degrees in washington and right near the bay. suburbs and rural areas. most locations are right around 70 right now. and out in west virginia, much of western maryland, low and mid-60s there. it's a steamy morning around the
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bay, low and eastern shore. over the bay, we had heavy downpours passing north of washington, causing a swift water flood rescue north of baltimore. now we have quite a bit of cloudiness around. a few breaks in the clouds. there are those showers just east of richmond. they're going to be heading toward the northern neck in another half hour or so. expect flooding rains there. for us, there is the sunrise. sun came up just a couple of minutes ago. still obscured by the eastern clouds. by 9:00 near 80 degrees. little sunshine in and out. those heavy downpours from time to time, especially south and east of us this morning. then around much of the region this afternoon and into this evening with thunder and lightning. again, there is a flood threat from these torrential downpours we may have later this afternoon and overnight tonight too this flood threat exists all the way into tonight. so watch out for high water if you plan on getting out and about on this friday night. there certainly could be some road closures due to creeks and streams coming out of their banks. that would be overnight tonight. then things will settle down for
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the weekend. maybe a lingering shower very early saturday morning. sun back in the afternoon a little less humid, highs around 90. saturday and sunday, not too humid, highs around 90. great summer weekend coming up. could get more storms around tuesday. then another break from the high heat and humidity on wednesday and thursday. danella, how's traffic? we have fire activity on "u" street, 13,000 block in northwest. the road is shut down in both directions. so avoid that area so that the fire department can work to put out this fire. that's going to affect your commute so far. i want to give you a live shot right now in virginia. as you're heading 95 north and making your way, coming from the occoquan and heading towards norton, you'll see a little congestion. so far you're traveling at a good speed. check out this 66 east. you are slow from the bypass as you make your way through the area on 66 east. so far the beltway in maryland, you are looking good. this is at university boulevard. and i also want to give you
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another look at the rails right now. metro, marc, and vre are all running on or close to schedule. i'll be back in ten minutes with another update. joe and eun? >> danella, thank you. here's a look at the new metro rail cars. metro released the final design for its next generation of rail cars. known as the 7000 series, the units will feature a blue and gray interior with 64 vinyl padded seats, and there will also be more grab handles on board when you're standing up. you'll also notice no carpet there. it's been replaced with resilient nonslip flooring. the cars will also have two lcd route maps and four video screens tracking train locations and station names. these new cars will replace the system's oldest model, the 1000 series. those involved in that serious accident a couple of years ago. the new fleet will be delivered in 2013. some metro riders can now add money to their smart trip cars from their own computer. metro launched a pilot program
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to test out a system that allows users to add money online by using a credit card instead of going to a machine to do it. about 5,000 riders were randomly selected for this pilot program. metro plans to replace the smart trip technology at some point. prince george's county plans to place mobile speed cameras at more than 100 sites near county schools. that's according to the "washington examiner." the county can fine drivers $40 when they're caught speeding 12 miles an hour or more over the limit in school zones. the program will generate about $7.5 million. you may want to skip the bacon with your breakfast this morning when you hear the results of a new study on adult obe obesity. in 38 states, more than one in four people is obese. that's according to researchers in the trust for america's health and the robert wood johnson foundation. just one state, colorado, has an obesity rate of lower than 20%. the district's obesity rate is the lowest in the region. it's at 21.7%.
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maryland's is the worst at 27.1%, and virginia's is in the middle at 25.9%. this morning the mayor of rockville dismisses the idea someone tried to sabotage the kickoff of her election bid. phyllis marcuccio made the announcement last month when the ground water started spraying under the crowd during her speech. she said she made arrangements to have the water turned off, but there was apparently a mistake. >> now eun yang can answer the question, what does a bear do in bethes bethesda? >> search for food. >> among other things. bears have been spotted in our area, including bethesda. >> and also in leesburg. a video showing a black bear devouring the seeds in the backyard of a home. dave colvin took the video.
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he said the bear broke holes in the feeder and knocked over the bird bath. he called the officials, but he wasn't happy with their response. >> i was kind of shocked and couldn't think to get a shot of it, and it ran off when it saw me. i thought that was the end of it. about ten minutes later it came back. >> we are going to see them this time of year. this is the time of year when the 2-year-old cubs, so last year's cubs are being kicked out of the nest by mom, and they're trying to find a place of their own. >> colvin says he'll keep an eye out on the deck to see if the bear returns. if he does, he'll push to have the bear moved. how do you do that, though? like shoo, is that going to work? get out of here, bear. >> i guess the bird feeders, i thought the squirrels were the nuisance. if you're going to have bears in playing with your friends?
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